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Developing your first Eclipse RCP application

Crafting a rich client application is easier than ever, thanks to Eclipse V3.1

Sandy Minocha, Software Engineer, IBM Rational
Sandy Minocha works for the IBM Rational ISV Enablement team, which engages with key Rational tools business partners, providing technical guidance and support as they integrate into the Rational suite of products. The team also performs technical validations of partner plug-ins for the Ready for IBM Rational software partner program.

Summary:  The objective of the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP) is to enable Eclipse to be used in a wide range of end-user applications that are not integrated development environments (IDEs). With the release of Eclipse V3.1, it is easy to create RCP applications. This tutorial will guide you step by step in building your very own RCP application.

Date:  27 Jun 2006
Level:  Intermediate PDF:  A4 and Letter (739 KB | 28 pages)Get Adobe® Reader®

Activity:  109592 views

Before you start

This tutorial is for developers who would like to learn how to use the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP). Eclipse has evolved to become a platform that can host a wide range of applications serving a wide variety of end users. Consider RCP as an integration platform with the same raw function as Eclipse, but one with a smaller overall footprint and a more flexible user interface. RCP opens the door to achieving desktop applications written in the Java™ programming language.

About this tutorial

This tutorial builds an application using the Eclipse RCP. The example application is divided into four sections, each building on the previous one. You start by creating a basic RCP application with the help of one of the Eclipse-supplied RCP templates. Next, you add some actions, a preference page, a view, and Help to the basic RCP application. This is followed by branding and turning the basic RCP application into a product. The final step takes you through packaging and deploying the RCP product outside of Eclipse.


This tutorial assumes basic programming knowledge. Knowledge of the Java programming language and Eclipse is a plus, but not required.

System requirements

The following tools are needed to follow along:

Eclipse is the platform upon which RCP resides. Download Eclipse V3.1.x from
Java technology
Eclipse and all its plug-ins need Java technology. Download Java technology from Sun Microsystems or from IBM.

Be sure to read the installation section for helpful step-by-step instructions.

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Zone=Open source
TutorialTitle=Developing your first Eclipse RCP application